Phil Davis is a retired ski patroller in Bear Valley, California with the nickname “Powderbear” due to the snowy conditions in which he works. Back in 1980, Phil and two friends bought a remote log cabin in the Bear Valley ski area with the intention of turning it into a cross country ski lodge. It wasn’t located near the roads; as Phil says, “I had the snow cat to get guests in, and pack a trail to the cabin.”
The lodge was used as a base for a helicopter skiing operation for a few years, and then a new idea emerged. “Some of my Strawberry Music Festival Friends convinced me late one night that we should put together a gig at my Log Cabin. So our first gig was with a band they had at the time, called ‘Horse Opry,’ and it was a benefit for the local school, to send the kids on a field trip to Washington DC that next summer. Then a few years later, I met the Violin Voyager, Kim Angelis and her husband Josef, and we did a couple of house concerts with them in the next several years. It was very occasional at first.”
Through a chance one-off concert with Australian band The Waifs, and then the friendly prodding of fiddler Tashina Clarridge, Phil began hosting regular concerts at the Log Cabin. In recent years he has hosted Aoife O’Donovan, The Deadly Gentlemen, Phoebe Hunt, and the 10 String Symphony, among others.
Since finding a way to bring satellite internet out to the Log Cabin, Phil has recently entered the new domain of webcasting his shows. “Concert Window,” he says, “is a wonderful project that provides not only promotion of concerts, but also a funding source to help these projects stay alive. Every ticket sold on Concert Window is vote for live music. If there is a space, and you have musicians who are willing to play in your space, go for it!”
If you’re interested in visiting the cabin, better pack your skis. According to Phil, “it can be reached both by downhill or cross country skis, but not by car (for 6 months of winter). The roads are packed and groomed in Bear Valley, and our cabin is located on a very private trail, about 5 minutes ski, or walk, from the nearest ‘groomed road.’ For first time non skiing guests, and for musicians and equipment, we can transport you via snowmobile and cargo sled to the cabin. Once you know where it is, it's a pleasant walk, and in moonlight, it is a piece of pure magic.”